A Curry of Fresh Legumes, Aubergine & Ridge Gourd, The Indian Way
I am always fascinated by the fresh equivalent of dry foods we use on a day to day basis.
For instance, I saw tea plantations for the first time during my visit to Munnar in Kerala a couple of years back and kept wondering about the stark contrast between the fresh green leaves and their dry powdered equivalent. One of the plantations, the Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company, has a Tea Museum which demonstrates this very interesting process. Kerala is well known for its spices and I was fortunate enough to also see peppercorns, cardamom and nutmeg in their “fresh” form.
In terms of legumes in their green avatar (technically referred to as immature), I have had sorghum (ponk), peanut, chickpea and kidney bean. I was introduced to immature kidney bean last year. Its outer pod is very light green in colour and the bean itself is pale white with specks of red (as seen in the photo on the left). The bean is large in size and some even sprout in the pod.
Star attractions of today’s recipe are fresh kidney beans, fresh chickpeas, fresh green peas, two varieties of aubergine (green and purple) and ridge gourd (also known as luffa, Chinese okra and Vietnamese gourd).
Not sure why but fresh legumes don’t feel heavy and are easy to digest.
The recipe itself is straightforward and requires very few spices.
healthy, delicious and light on the stomach
If you would like to try this curry and can’t get hold of the immature legumes mentioned here, you can substitute with any other types of legume like fresh broad bean, edamame or lima bean. Ridge gourd is easily available in Asian grocery stores.
This curry goes well with, both, rice and bread (roti, naan, paratha, bread rolls or even hunk of fresh bread).
1/2 Cup shelled fresh kidney beans
1/2 Cup shelled fresh chickpeas
1/2 Cup shelled fresh green peas
1 Green aubergine
1 Purple aubergine
1/2 Cup fresh coriander
1 Tablespoon coriander powder
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
1 Teaspoon turmeric powder
1-2 Green chillies
Fresh ginger the size of your thumb
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon carom seeds
1 Teaspoon asafoetida
Salt to taste
- Wash the fresh legume.
- Wash and mince the chillies.
- Peel, wash and mince the ginger.
- Chop and wash the fresh coriander.
- Heat the oil in a cooking pot.
- When it becomes hot, lower the flame to minimum setting and throw in the carom seeds.
- Add the asafoetida, stir for a few seconds and tip in the washed legumes.
- Add salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, minced chillies and minced ginger along with about 2 cups of water.
- Mix well, cover and let the legumes cook for about 10 minutes.
- While they are cooking, wash and dice the aubergine.
- Scrape, wash and chop the ridge gourd.
- After 10 minutes, add the chopped aubergine and ridge gourd.
- Stir, cover and cook for about 15 minutes till the vegetables are tender and legumes fully cooked.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.
- If you are a garlic fan, you can add a couple of cloves of freshly grated garlic just before serving.